Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council

Gaza Academic: Israel's targeted killing policy works

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Israel, which has sometimes been criticised in the media for targeting terror kingpins in Gazan airstrikes, has received a validation of the policy's effectiveness in curbing terrorism from an unlikely source: A Gazan university professor.

Mukhaimer Abu Saada, professor of political science at Al-Azhar University in Gaza City, told the AFP in an article published March 12 that Israel's strategy has been very successful.

"The Israeli targeted assassinations against Palestinian resistance groups, especially against their leaders, is very effective," said Mukhaimer Abu Saada, professor of political science at Al-Azhar University in Gaza City.
"It is definitely a policy that aims at paralysing these groups and stopping them from carrying out future attacks against Israel," he told AFP.
In such groups, which tend to have a very centralised structure, taking out the top commander "definitely has a very effective and negative impact on their operational methods," he said.
And although the groups are capable of quickly replacing assassinated leaders, it still takes some time for them to become operational again, and replacing them sometimes creates internal problems, he added.

On this issue, Abu Saada found himself in agreement with former Shin Bet director Avi Dichter, who was also interviewed in the story.
Calling targeted killings a "very effective means" of curbing terrorism, Dichter told the reporter that for a variety of reasons, Israel prefers not to resort to such means if it could be avoided, but sometimes it is the best option for derailing a planned terror attack.